Sleep, Diet And Exercise

Sleep, Diet And Exercise

30th Dec 2021

The new year brings renewed motivation to implement healthy habits. Creating a good balance for the triangle of sleep, diet and exercise will bring you one step closer to a healthier life. In this triangle improving sleep is one of the simplest ways to improve our health.

sleeping habit

Sleep and Metabolism

Metabolism is the process by which our body turns food into energy. A fast metabolism means our bodies burn calories at a faster rate, making it easier to eat without gaining weight. The same way sleep is a time for regeneration and rest for cells, muscles, and the brain, it is also a time for regulation of metabolic rate. The National Institute of Health explains that disrupted sleep can deregulate the metabolism, which may cause weight gain, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. Getting your recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep will help to regulate your metabolism as well as decrease your appetite.

Sleep and Appetite

Surprisingly, sleep can even affect your appetite. Poor sleep alters hormone levels in the body, including the hormones that affect hunger: ghrelin and leptin. The Sleep Sherpa explains that ghrelin is the “hunger hormone”, which increases with lack of sleep. On the other hand, a full night’s rest increases leptin (the “fullness hormone”). Essentially, sleep deprivation increases your appetite for high-calorie foods, potentially resulting in weight gain.

Sleep and Weight Loss/Gain

Studies have linked poor sleep to weight gain for many reasons. Most obviously, lack of sleep will result in fatigue, making exercise less likely. Additionally, Healthline notes that short sleep, which is commonly defined as less than 6 hours per night, is directly correlated to higher BMI (body mass index) and weight gain. Nutritionist and founder of the FBF Collective, Flo Seabright, explains, “Lack of sleep can impact food choices, whether that’s because adhering to a 'normal' healthy, balanced diet just feels more difficult when you’re sleep deprived or because we opt for foods that we feel will give us more energy, such as sugary or sweet foods."

Sleep Diet and Exercise

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So, you now know how sleep impacts weight. But, how exactly can you sleep better? Matt Walker explains in his TED talk, “ Sleep is Your Superpower” his 2 biggest recommendations to achieve the best sleep:

  1. Maintain a regular sleep schedule: “Go to bed at the same time, wake up at the same time, no matter whether it's the weekday or the weekend. Regularity is king, and it will anchor your sleep and improve the quantity and the quality of that sleep.”
  2. Keep it cool: “Your body needs to drop its core temperature by about two to three degrees Fahrenheit to initiate sleep and then to stay asleep, and it's the reason you will always find it easier to fall asleep in a room that's too cold than too hot. So aim for a bedroom temperature of around 65 degrees, or about 18 degrees Celsius.”

The new year brings motivation to implement healthy habits. Sticking to a regular sleep schedule, receiving at least 7 hours per night, and having uninterrupted sleep can set you up for success as we enter 2022. Sleep more to boost your metabolism, decrease your appetite, and encourage weight loss.